Losers, Food, and Sex: Clerical Masculinity in the BBC Sitcom REV

Just published: Clerical masculinities, much like their lay/secular counterparts, often appear unchanging because they are the products of naturalization processes. Clerical masculinities, however, are far from stable, for they live and breathe the dynamics of both their socio-religious context and their secular “others”. The BBC sitcom REV (BBC2, UK 2010–2014) is a refreshing take on the everyday life and problems of a vicar in the Church of England trying to avoid stereotypes that often come with clerical roles. REV (2010–2014) can be interpreted as an attempt to explore the negotiation processes of masculinity within an institution that is involved in the “production” of religion and gender roles. It shows that being a man in an institutional setting is as much a performance as it is a more or less successful negotiation of other people’s expectations and one’s own worldview. In particular, the main male clerical characters in REV (2010–2014) inhabit a position of power but all have their flaws. They can best be understood as losers whose clash with masculine systems renders them more human.

Access the full text.

Access the Journal for Religion, Media and Film.